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Old 02-10-2019, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
912 posts, read 445,054 times
Reputation: 2274

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catgirl64 View Post
Disclaimer: Please forgive me if this should be in another forum. It's certainly health-related, but my ultimate question is one of palatability, so I've come here because I know you all love tasty food.

I have an elderly housemate, for whom I cook. She has numerous health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. She recently had a mini-stroke, and we are going to have to make some changes around here, when it comes to food.

Rant first: She tends to take an "all-or-nothing" approach to healthier eating, wanting to eliminate virtually all carbs one moment, snacking on cookies, cake, and candy the next. For example, she frets about the sugar and fat in Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit, then has an egg and sausage biscuit for breakfast instead, and follows it up with whatever sugary snack someone has brought to the parish hall on the days she has Bible study. When she does try to change her diet, she attempts to cut out carbs altogether, and speaks dispairingly of never having pizza or pasta again.

I know what to do, and how to prepare healthy meals, and that there is probably nothing at all she must give up entirely. My question is, what are good substitutes for some of the ingredients we both love? I think the starting point needs to be dairy. Not interested in skim milk, as we both hate it, but can anyone suggest specific non-dairy milks for specific uses? One might be good on cold cereal, another might make the best creamy soup, right? I'd like to find a couple of things I can use every day, reserving some of the dairy items we don't want to sacrifice as a special treat.

Next on the list would probably be the bread/pasta thing. Can anyone suggest whole-grain breads or pastas that have a taste/texture similar to the white stuff? I'm trying to use more whole-grain blends, like pilafs, as side dishes, too, with mixed results. Also, does anyone get good results with veggie noodles?

I suspect a lot of this is going to depend on acquiring some new tastes, but any is appreciated.
Reducing carbohydrates will help your roommate with her blood pressure and diabetes, diabetes being a disease of carbohydrate intolerance. Ditching the flour and sugar (e.g., cereal, bread, pasta, biscuits, etc.) is more important than dairy. That doesn't mean eliminating carbohydrates. Non-starchy vegetables, berries, nuts, and maybe even a few beans and a little potato are OK.

The best milk substitute, IMO, is coconut milk. Get the full-fat canned kind with no carrageenan.

Eggplant parmesan makes a good pizza substitute; there's also Fathead pizza. https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/fat-head-pizza

Cauli rice is a good substitute for regular rice. You can even buy pearled or shredded cauliflower at the grocery store now just for that purpose.

Finally, if your roommate reduces carbohydrate, she'll have to eat more fat. You have to use one or the other for fuel. This site has a good introduction to the subject. https://www.dietdoctor.com
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,844 posts, read 15,831,737 times
Reputation: 11742
Remember John Rambo could eat things that would make a Billygoat puke.....and enjoy.

Really, you can, if willing, gradually change you diet to eat things that you would never currently eat. The health benefits can be profound.

I had pretty bad anemia and tried pills, high-iron foods and red meat. Both helped somewhat, but not enough. SO, yes, I bit the bullet and started eating liver.............peeeeyew, it was vulgar and awful. But, oh man, that worked like a charm, my health improved quickly. Now, LOL, I eat all sorts of "disgusting" foods and it is like second nature.

But most people, especially someone older and set in their eating ways, are unwilling and/or unable to follow this path.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:50 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,188 posts, read 10,381,847 times
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I haven't read through the whole thread, but I agree with some other posters. Almond milk is pretty good on cereal. It's thinner than dairy milk, though.

And coconut milk is great. I forgot about that. It's really thick and rich. Just make sure you get it unsweetened if using in a savory dish.

We use Dreamfields pasta, which is supposed to be low-carb friendly. Apparently there is some dispute about that, but we use it and it tastes great.

Oh, also Mission "Carb Balance" flour tortillas can be used as a substitute for bread. Again, I'm no expert on exactly how much better they are for you, but I'm just passing on the products I'm aware of.

Good luck, Catgirl. It's nice of you to care so much about your housemate's health.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:57 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,188 posts, read 10,381,847 times
Reputation: 12768
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
Reducing carbohydrates will help your roommate with her blood pressure and diabetes, diabetes being a disease of carbohydrate intolerance. Ditching the flour and sugar (e.g., cereal, bread, pasta, biscuits, etc.) is more important than dairy. That doesn't mean eliminating carbohydrates. Non-starchy vegetables, berries, nuts, and maybe even a few beans and a little potato are OK.

The best milk substitute, IMO, is coconut milk. Get the full-fat canned kind with no carrageenan.

Eggplant parmesan makes a good pizza substitute; there's also Fathead pizza. https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/fat-head-pizza

Cauli rice is a good substitute for regular rice. You can even buy pearled or shredded cauliflower at the grocery store now just for that purpose.

Finally, if your roommate reduces carbohydrate, she'll have to eat more fat. You have to use one or the other for fuel. This site has a good introduction to the subject. https://www.dietdoctor.com
Another one I forgot about! Cauliflower is a great substitute for potatoes. Like sheerbliss says, you can buy it riced in the frozen vegetable section. Cauli also makes great mashed "potatoes." You can make it with pure cauliflower or even 50/50 with potatoes, and in that case you seriously can't really tell the difference.

One thing I've learned from Ina Garten, the "Barefoot Contessa," is that if you roast vegetables with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper, they just have so much more flavor than steaming them or whatever. It's not a "chore" to eat the vegetables. They're really tasty that way. I get cravings. lol
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:09 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,188 posts, read 10,381,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
Dreamfields makes a higher fiber lower carb pasta that doesnít have that awful wheat taste. Iíve kicked brown rice to the curb too and eat mostly wild, basmati, and jasmine fortifying with beans. Personally i subscribe to the tree section plate from childhood the half is for veggies, the two quarters are for protein and starch.

Iím not diabetic but Iíve found that eliminating sweets makes things worse. I give myself one or two sweet treats a day, small servings not more than 150 cals per.

There are a lot of really yummy light meat dishes. Someone recommended man pleasing chicken and omg itís awesome google it.
Hmm, I actually searched this thread to see if anyone had mentioned this already. Anyway, yeah, it tastes great.

I just remembered, too, that there are some low-carb black beans available. I don't remember the brand name; my SO usually buys them. You might have to get them at Whole Foods or something like that.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:17 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,188 posts, read 10,381,847 times
Reputation: 12768
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I would not eat dry cereal. When I was doing low carb, I could not find a single acceptable low carb variety. And then there are the carbs in skim milk. I think oatmeal is a decent choice, because of its other properties. And you can choose whatever you want as a milk.
Again, I'm no low-carb expert, I take a pretty casual approach to it, but I thought Kashi was a good brand for that? Are they still pretty high in carbs, too?
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
912 posts, read 445,054 times
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If you really love cereal, you can make a substitute with flax seed, shredded coconut (unsweetened) and chopped pecans. Add hot water, and it's a tasty hot "cereal." The recipe is in The Fat Fast Cookbook by Dana Carpender. There's also a recipe for flax seed bread that's made with flax, eggs, shredded coconut and a few other ingredients. It's the best low-carb bread recipe I've found.

Here, they sell pearled cauliflower in the produce section, but there might also be some with the frozen foods, too. There's also squash and beets in noodle form. 500 Paleo Recipes (also by Dana Carpender) has a recipe called Rice-a-Phony that tastes just like Rice-a-Roni.

I usually put butter on my vegetables--or salad dressing. Butter makes it better!
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
29,461 posts, read 18,665,646 times
Reputation: 42553
I have a great recipe for grain free granola, made with nuts and coconut
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Old Yesterday, 01:32 AM
 
3,332 posts, read 926,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
This being said, if Iím a sick old lady who has had a stroke, Iíd probably eat whatever I darn please.
Or you'd come to the realization that food isn't so important and you want to live.
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Old Yesterday, 03:52 AM
Status: "Tired." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Here and now.
11,808 posts, read 3,305,383 times
Reputation: 12643
Thanks for all the suggestions. To clarify a few things, if I have not: Housemate is not insulin-dependent, and at no point has she been told to cut out all carbs. I am no expert, but I know that some carbs are more likely than others to cause spikes and drops in blood sugar, and that's what I'm looking to do here - replace highly refined simple carbs with complex ones.

Lots of people have mentioned cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes, rice, pizza crust. That's probably a non-starter. I served some mashed potatoes that had just a little bit of cauliflower added, and they did not go over well. The riced cauliflower was a total failure. We both hated it.

To be honest, I am at least as concerned about her cholesterol as her sugar. Those breakfast biscuits have 40% of the RDA for cholesterol, and lots of salt, too. Forty. Percent. That's just nuts, IMO. Interestingly, they are also relatively low in carbs, at least for an entire meal, and all of those are from white flour, which makes me wonder if that's why she has such a strong inclination to binge on sweets at her morning church functions. A cup of yogurt with fresh fruit and a little granola, or maybe one of those baked avocado/egg things with a slice of whole-grain toast and a handful of berries both sound like better choices to me.

I am definitely going to try to coconut milk and coconut cream. I've used both in savory Asian dishes, and can see no reason not to try them in other recipes calling for a rich, creamy "milk."

One thing I know for sure is that I am banishing most, if not all, canned soups, particularly condensed ones, from the pantry. Too much sugar, too much salt, they don't taste very good, and anyway, why deprive myself of one of my greatest kitchen pleasures - a lovely pot of homemade soup, simmering away on the stove?
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